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'Marty Thau presents Variations: Modern Sounds...'   

-  Label: 'Red Star Europe'
-  Genre: 'Dance' -  Release Date: '15.8.14'-  Catalogue No: 'RSE001'

Our Rating:
This is a compilation of the bands that were floating Music Business Legend Marty Thau's boat in the year or two before he passed away this February. Many of them are, of course, signed to his legendary and long running Red Star label whose current digital incarnation first put out this compilation now re-issued by Red Star Europe.

This opens with a tune from The Carbon Manual who are one of Jeremy Gluck's many groups and this is a very dance/Techno song that has been mixed by Zuul. Now to be honest you probably need to have smoked some Zuul for this to work or to be in a club late at night where it would really work on your brain. Oh, to have someone sell me a cob of Zuul again!

The Robert Coyne outfit shifts the sound to a more traditional Rock & Roll format with Kevin's son's vocals sounding good and dark. Whatever The Black Claw is you don't want it grabbing you. It sounds nothing like Robert did when he was playing with his dad however many years ago the shows I saw them do together were. Oh, and the outfit also features Tony Thewlis of The Scientists making noise in the ways you'd expect him too.

Drone is the alias that a rather well known but anonymous Dance Techno DJ type is using for the track Kill Yourself that he (or is it she?) recorded as a tribute to Suicide and it is a drone that then mutates and gets under your skin. If it is heard at brain punishing club volumes I'm sure it will have you moving all over the dancefloor.

Things then take a turn for the bananas with the 8-bit Operators mauling of Devo's Freedom Of Choice that is as nutty as it comes; techno made with old games consoles and space invaders etc. It is truly mind meldingly odd and weird and makes you want to hear it again just to make sure it's as mad as you thought it was the first time.

It then goes back to the Carbon Manual for Ice Sleep which is a bit of dark dancehall tune with some whisper in your ears, trying to disturb you vocals. That sort of leads nicely into Jae Griff's It's Not About You - a very laid back hip hop tune that you'll want to lay back and chill too as you listen to Jae's Philly soul style vocals. A very nice tune.

I wasn't quite ready for Futurisks' mad glitchcore song that sounds like it is using all sorts of old computer games sounds that then sort of blends straight into the Reverse Engineers' Donkey Punch and if you heard them back to back in a club you'd think the DJ had just made a superb mix to keep you on the dancefloor.

Then The Bastards Of Fate burst out of the speakers with a wonky pop tune, Go No Further, that jumps out at me before it goes off on one from the middle of the tune in almost as unexpected way as their live show did recently.

Martin Rev's contribution, Metatron, is exactly what you'd expect from Mr Rev: great washes of synths with all sorts of odd things happening in the washes, as sounds come out to attack your ears and make sure the droning doesn't feel like a drone. Obviously not as visceral or violent as it is if you go and see him play live, though.

Jeremy Gluck and Robert Coyne then get together for a very cool pop song, We Will Fall Hard that has a last drink of the night feel to it in the hope that you won't fall hard but will be all right once more.

That's followed by the glacial dance pop of Lola Dutronic's Everyone's A Star: a tune that despite the minimal use of Autotune has more than wormed its way into my ears since I first heard it on their album last year. This tune, if you haven't heard it, is one of those that you will find stuck in your head and wondering what it is...

The album then closes with Dub Gabriel and Amy Douglas' version of Suicides Keep Your Dreams that they cover in a dance-y dub style with some very floaty vocals that would work in the chill out room of a club very nicely indeed.

All in this is an interesting compilation that will make you want to hear more from several of the acts involved. It's naturally available to download from I-tunes.
  author: simonovitch

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